by Charlotte L. Hanna CMO/Director of PMR/CMBS Global
Do you have a business partner or are you considering entering into a business partnership? A business partnership is most beneficial when both parties are able to play off of one another’s strengths. When there is no competition, only completion of one another’s roles, there is balance…and balance keeps your business sailing along in an upright position – even keeled.
Anytime you partner with someone else, you are also risking something. In fact, the traditionally accepted meaning of the term “business partners” has been two or more people agreeing to combine their money, talents and ideas and risking those to create or build something together that they hope will be successful.
If you have experienced a less than successful business partnership in the past, chances are you may hesitate to do so again. But, statistics seem to show that entrepreneurs are more likely to succeed in business with a partner than without one. A co-owned venture is easy to form and generally less expensive than going it on your own, but as in any relationship, compatibility is crucial.
Before you write off the idea of ever partnering in business again, consider the following:
- Putting it in writing is not legally necessary – but it is wise! The closer you are to the potential partner (relatives, friends) the MORE wise it can be to have everything thoroughly discussed and drawn-up in a Partnership Agreement.
- Do not go into business with anyone you DON’T really know. Don’t be lured by the experience purported or the amount of available money mentioned – you cannot trust what (or whom) you do not know.
- Are YOU the type who can work as a partner? Be honest with yourself. If you prefer to do things on your own, if you have been a Solopreneur for quite awhile, you may find it difficult to share decision-making. If you are more comfortable with calling all of the shots yourself, you may not be the best partner.
A partnership is a serious commitment and deserves serious thought and conversation before entering into the relationship. From a psychological perspective, having someone to share the emotional burdens of ownership can provide feelings of safety, reduced risk, camaraderie and much more fun than having to carry all of the management stresses alone.
Today, many business partners are also partners in life. Whether as a couple entering into a business relationship or as individuals who have become a couple as a result – this can create a unique set of circumstances. In her book, “The Playful Partnership For Beloveds in Business”, Taylore Ashlie offers creative ideas and suggestions for keeping both the business and the relationship alive and healthy.
A great business partnership will always be one that recognizes the benefits of being able to play off of one another’s strengths on the way to success.